Keep Your Baby Safe: Infant Sun Protection
It only takes one blistering sunburn as a child to double the chance of someone developing melanoma later in their life. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and melanoma is the deadliest form. This is why it is important for parents to teach their children skin care habits, and to protect them from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Dermatologists recommend the following tips for protecting your infant:
Keep your baby in the shade. If your baby is younger than six months old, shade is the best way to go. Using things such as an umbrella, canopy, or the hood of a stroller can help when it comes to keeping your baby in the shade.
Dress your baby in the sun-protective clothing. Wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants will aid in keeping your baby protected.
Minimize sunscreen use on children younger than six months old. Apply a minimal amount of broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to your baby’s skin if shade and the appropriate clothing are not available. Reapply sunscreen immediately after swimming or sweating, there is no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen, or every two hours. Sunscreens containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are less likely to irritate a baby’s sensitive skin.
Stay safe on hot days. It’s important to make sure that your baby does not get overheated. Make sure to keep your baby hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, and take your baby indoors immediately if he or she is fussy, crying excessively, or has redness on any skin that is exposed.
See a board-certified dermatologist is you have any questions regarding your baby’s skin. Always protect yourself and your family from the sun, as sun protection is important at every stage of life.